September 23, 2019 - LEICESTER, Race 1, Alw, GBP £10,000, 7.0F, 13.5000

Highest Ground (Ire), C, 2, 2017 by Frankel (GB)

1st Dam: Celestial Lagoon (Jpn) (SP-Fr), by Sunday Silence
2nd Dam: Metaphor, by Woodman
3rd Dam: Mystery Rays, by Nijinsky II

Owner: Niarchos Family
Breeder: Niarchos Family (Ire)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Supporters of Sir Michael Stoute-trained newcomer Highest Ground (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) might have feared the worst when the Niarchos Family's homebred planted himself as the gates opened for Monday's British Stallion Studs EBF Kegworth Novice S. at Leicester, but rider Ryan Moore was in no mood for a cigar and encouraged his mount to recoup several forfeited lengths and into midfield after the early exchanges of the seven-furlong event. Nudged along approaching the quarter-mile marker, the 3-1 chance powered his way to the front with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining and kept on strongly in the closing stages to easily outclass his ten rivals and earn 'TDN Rising Star' status with an impressive 2 3/4-length success from Macho Boy (Ire) (Camacho {GB}).

James Horton, assistant trainer to Sir Michael Stoute, said, "He doesn't jump well at home and being on the wing on that rail just intimidated him. Ryan Moore did the right thing and went across to follow the right horses and he ended up doing it smoothly. He has got a very likeable attitude. The last couple of weeks he has just shown us at home that he might be alright. We will see how he comes out of it, but we might look to get him out on a racecourse again this season. He will have learnt plenty today. Judging by how he won over seven furlongs, a mile will be no problem for him. I think he will be a mile-and-a-quarter horse next season, although he showed plenty of speed today."

Highest Ground becomes the eighth winner out of Listed Prix Herod third Celestial Lagoon (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and the May-foaled bay is a half-brother to MGSP Listed Prix Volterra victress Night of Light (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}), stakes-winning G3 Prix Chloe second Maria Gabriella (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) and the dual stakes-placed Roatan (GB) (Daylami {Ire}). Other black-type descendants of Celestial Lagoon, who produced a Lope de Vega (Ire) filly this year, include stakes-winning dual G3 Grosser Preis der Wirtschaft placegetter Cashman (Fr) (Soldier of Fortune {Ire}) and stakes-winning G3 Prix de la Porte Maillot runner-up Marianafoot (Fr) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}). Highest Ground's stakes-placed second dam Metaphor (Woodman) is a half-sister to GI Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up and MGSW sire King of Happiness (Spinning World) out of a MGSW half-sister to MGSW sire Robin des Pins (Nureyev).

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